Sunday, April 18, 2004

Boston not kind to new Yankees

MLB notebook

The Associated Press

BOSTON - Alex Rodriguez slammed down his helmet, pawed at the dirt and gave it a few good kicks.

A day after throwing a paper cup in frustration, it got worse for him. The All-Star who left Texas eager to play in big games, went hitless again at Fenway Park, grounding into a key double play Saturday in the New York Yankees' 5-2 loss to Boston.

"When you've been stinking up the place like I have, it's good to let out your emotions," Rodriguez said. "I've been consistently bad."

At 0-for-8 with only one ball out of the infield in two days, it's hardly the way the reigning AL MVP and home-run champ hoped to join the Yankees-Red Sox rivalry.

Gary Sheffield and Javier Vazquez, two of New York's other big offseason acquisitions, haven't done much better.

Sheffield is 0-for-6 so far in the four-game series, which started with Vazquez giving up three home runs in a 6-2 defeat Friday night.

ROCKIES: Denny Stark was designated for assignment Saturday by Colorado after running up a 16.20 ERA after two starts.

The Rockies purchased the contract of right-hander Tim Harikkala from Triple-A Colorado Springs to fill Stark's roster spot.

Manager Clint Hurdle said reliever Jeff Fassero, 41, would replace Stark in the rotation and that the Rockies would use a four-man rotation for now.

McGWIRE TALKS: Back at Busch Stadium for the first time since retiring, Mark McGwire had little to say about steroids in baseball.

"Well, I'm really not in touch with any of that stuff because I usually hear it from friends and stuff, and I tell them I don't want to really hear about any of that stuff," McGwire said Saturday.

"I don't really have any opinion on any of that stuff. It's just very unfortunate."

McGwire, who admitted using a legal supplement, androstenedione, during his 70-homer season in 1998, made his first public appearance in St. Louis since retiring after the 2001 season.

INDIANS: Cleveland placed right-hander Jose Jimenez on the disabled list with a strained muscle in his left side.

The move was made retroactive to Monday, one day after Jimenez experienced soreness in his left side while pitching in Kansas City.

The Indians purchased the contract of right-hander Dave Lee from Triple-A Buffalo to replace Jimenez in the bullpen.

YANKEES: New York put reliever Felix Heredia on the 15-day disabled list because of a bruised left index finger and activated first baseman-outfielder Travis Lee before Saturday's game against Boston.

DEVIL RAYS: Tampa Bay hitting coach Lee Elia was released from a hospital Saturday after tests for abdominal discomfort. Devil Rays manager Lou Piniella said Elia might rejoin the team today.

ROYALS: Kansas City placed shortstop Angel Berroa on the 15-day disabled list Saturday with migraine headaches, and activated right-hander Kevin Appier.

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